⚾ Kansas Earns 5-1 Victory Over Belmont
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – After not scoring in the series opener, Kansas (1-1) found its rhythm at the plate and won its first contest of the 2020 season, 5-1, over the Belmont Bruins (1-1) at E.S. Rose Park.
Everhett Hazelwood earned the start for the Jayhawks and pitched 4.1 innings, while recording six strikeouts.
Before reaching the mound for the first time in his Kansas career, Hazelwood had run support. Casey Burnham led off the game with a double and scored on a Benjamin Sems single to right field.
Belmont responded in the second inning, scoring its only run of the game.
Hazelwood continued his strong outing until the fifth inning when he was relieved by Daniel Hegarty.
Hegarty worked his way out of bases loaded jam, pitching 1.2 innings with no hits and one strikeout.
James Cosentino provided the winning run in the sixth inning, hitting the Jayhawks’ first home run of the season.
The Jayhawks offense was not done, adding three runs in the eighth inning.
Blake Goldsberry finished the game and pitched the final two innings. Goldsberry allowed only one hit, while recording two strikeouts.
STAT OF THE GAME
Three Double Plays – The Kansas defense tallied three double plays against Belmont, including a double play that helped the Jayhawks out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth inning.
HOW KANSAS SCORED
T1 – Casey Burnham opened the second game of the series with a double down the left field line and was advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Jack Wagner. Benjamin Sems drove Burnham home on a RBI single through the right side of the infield.
T6 – James Cosentino hit a solo home run to left field with one out.
T8 – Jack Wagner opened the inning with a double to left center and was joined on the base paths when Benjamin Sems was hit by a pitch. With one out, Cosentino hit a ball back to the Belmont pitcher that bounced towards third, resulting in the bases loaded with one out. Skyler Messinger received a walk, scoring Wagner.
T8 – Kaimana Souza-Paaluhi also earned a free pass to first in the eighth, scoring Sems.
T8 – Anthony Tulimero received a walk, scoring Cosentino.
On rebounding from yesterday’s loss…
Scoring in the first inning was huge. Anytime you get shut out like we did yesterday, it continues to put added pressure on your team to find a way to score. We needed a solid five innings from Everhett (Hazelwood) in his first start at the Division I level. You look at that line score and you see the six strikeouts, but he also had six walks. He was dominant in the zone when he was able to be in the zone, and if he cuts the walks down today, it could have been a tremendous performance. I am very excited about Everhett and what he brings to the mound. That is the best that we have had somebody have spin on their slider since Jordan Piche pitched for us. Once again our bullpen was solid and Hegarty led us out of a bases loaded jam by forcing a double play with the game tied.
On Casey Burnham’s start to the season…
“It is really nice to see Burnham’s solid start to the season. He is using the whole field in his approach at the plate. He doubled to right with a strike in the first and then he hit a double to left center later in the game. He has made phenomenal progress from when he got to our program. His high school didn’t have baseball so he focused on track, and was second in the 100-meters and second in the 200-meters in the state of Nebraska, while playing Legion baseball. He is going to be a very good college player for us and I think he will get the chance to play at the next level.”
On what the team mentality is going into Sunday’s rubber match…
“I feel like guys panicked with their bats yesterday. As the game went on, they let one bad at-bat lead to two bad at-bats, and two bad at-bats led to three. I was disappointed about the lack of poise in some of the guys on the field yesterday and how they let the game beat them up mentally. We talked about bouncing back on Saturday and we did that today thanks to a quality start. College baseball is about winning series. You get beat on Friday night, you go win on Saturday, and then you win on Sunday. If you are winning every series, you are making it to the NCAA tournament. That is how the game is played at this level. There are going to be days where somebody is going to dominate you on the mound and then you will have days where one of our guys will dominate our opponents too. Now it is all about Sunday and we have to find a way to win this series.”
MOMENT OF THE GAME
B5 – Belmont loaded the bases with only one out in the bottom of the fifth inning. Kansas replaced starter Everhett Hazelwood with Daniel Hegarty, who forced a ground ball to shortstop Benjamin Sems, resulting in an inning-ending double play that held Belmont scoreless.
- Everhett Hazelwood made his first career start on the mound for the Jayhawks. Logan Williams and Blake Ebo also made their first career start.
- James Cosentino hit the Jayhawks’ first home run of the season in the sixth inning.
- Casey Burnham has three doubles in two games. The sophomore centerfielder had five doubles last season.
Kansas concludes its series with Belmont Sunday, Feb. 16 at 1 p.m. at E.S. Rose Park.